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Burrito Loco Mexican Grill

166 West 4th Street

Since 1983, Burrito Loco has sustained an intimate, yet fun atmosphere for casual occasions through a pleasant mix of dim lights and colorful elements, including stained glass windows. The food itself is as authentic as one can get in Manhattan, but it also manages to balance its culinary tradition with a series of “inventive fusion concepts and techniques” that make for great dishes. Sitting down at the ceramic tiled tables with rural designs allowed us a brief detachment from the bustling West Village outside. Before we even looked at the menu, I placed an order for their guacamole, prepared table-side and served with crunchy chips and salsa.

While I always order Chiles Rellenos as my main course when I am in a Mexican restaurant, another member of the Manhattan Sideways team chose the burrito poblano with an exquisite mole sauce, while a third selected a simple taco. Needless to say, none of us were disappointed and agreed that the food had been perfectly prepared.

The bar offers a variety of cocktails for customers looking for a distinctive Mexican taste. We sampled the frozen strawberry and spicy margaritas, but it was the flaming chocolate-flavored shot that manager, Norberto, brought to our table that we appreciated the most. Aptly named cucaracha borracha, or “drunken cockroach,” it was a great surprise at the end of the meal.

For those looking to try an even wider selection of tacos in a lively atmosphere, The Taco Shop - part of the Pepe’s Restaurant Group that owns Burrito Loco - is just downstairs.

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Pageant Print Shop

Pageant Print Shop’s entirely glass storefront bordered by light blue is instantly eye-catching and proudly displays the treasure within. Inside its bright, buttercream interior, an immense assortment of old prints and maps line every wall and fill neatly-labeled display racks. This sanctuary of beautiful historical pieces was created by Sidney Solomon and Henry Chafetz in 1946. It was originally one of the many second-hand book stores on Fourth Avenue, an area that was then known as “Book Row. ” Now under the leadership of Sidney’s daughters, Shirley and Rebecca, Pageant Print Shop primarily sells old prints and is thriving at its current 4th Street location. Having worked with historic pieces her whole life, Shirley knows how to get the best prints. She has amassed her impressive collection from antique book auctions as well as other various sources that she has built up over the years. Roger, who has been working at Pageant Print Shop for over a decade, told Manhattan Sideways that “what we are looking for are old books with the bindings broken that are really not in very good shape on the outside, but still have good quality prints, maps, or illustrations on the inside. ” Although they search for old books based on the contents within, the shop also sells the old bindings for creatives looking to make decoupage and other fun art projects. Pageant Print Shop is definitely a fixture in the East Village, and in the words of Roger, is “one of those neighborhood jams. ” They enjoy “a loyal group of people that have been coming here for eons, " tourists looking for something authentically New York City, and neighborhood people walking by. He told us that newcomers are often “surprised that they are able to buy a piece of history, ” and return for more of their authentic, beautiful, and historic prints. Pageant Print Shop is unique in its extensive, high quality, and affordable selection. Roger affirmed that “It’s going to be hard for you to find someone who has this kind of a collection at these kinds of prices — it’s just true. ”